Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spiral & Houndstooth Nails

I've had a few more chances to play around with my Konad stamping plates since my previous post. I do one design a week - usually painting the base color Friday night, stamping on Saturday, and then the designs last until the next weekend.

For my 2nd experiment I used Sally Hansen Hard as Nails (Xtreme Wear) in "Marine Scene" for the base color and stamped in Pure Ice "Silver Mercedes" with the spiraling pattern from the m51 plate. I had seen a picture using that pattern where each nail picked up a different part of the design. I really liked the look, so I turned the stamp in different directions for each nail - my nails were short enough to use the stamp sideways so I could use the right or left end, go horizontal or vertical, and even did a few diagonally to get a lot of variety.

Teal Spiral nails, 1

The thumbnails are always a pain. The stamps are too narrow & a fraction too short, so instead of trying to do four stamps to cover it, I like to turn the design sideways & only have to stamp twice (working from the top down. I figure the seam is better hidden at the base of the nail). Lining up the stamps in a nightmare, but I was pretty pleased with the results.

Teal Spiral nails, 2

For my next stamping I wanted to use the houndstooth print on the m63 plate in black & white. I tried to use a cheap white NYC polish (a few years old) for the base and it ended up being a battle that went on for days! It took forever to dry and needed about 4 coats, so of course the semi-dry nails kept getting bumped & had to be re-done... an endless cycle.

I got really fed up & started researching the fast drying drops I kept hearing mentions of on tutorial videos & nail blogs. They let you layer a few coats of polish quickly, without waiting for them to fully dry, then you put on a few drops at the end and it helps the polish speedily dry all the way through. I visited our local Sally's Beauty Supply (which had a pitiful selection) and picked up INM Out the Door fast dry topcoat and Orly Flash Dry drops.

INM Out the Door & Orly Flash Dry

I also realized at this point that it would be easier to put on a black base coat & stamp with white, since black covers easily. I used Sally Hansen Diamond Strength in "Black Diamond" (black with a faith silver sparkle), topped that with the INM topcoat and Orly drops and went to bed. The drops are actually an oil, so you are not supposed to stamp over it, but the next day I tried my luck and just washed my nails off well with soap. I stamped with Konad special white, applied more topcoat, and it worked well!

Houndstooth nails, 1

*Really* well, actually. I'm not sure if it was the new topcoat, drops, or just the combination of polishes, but this was one of the most durable manicures I've done! The next weekend I finally just removed it myself & didn't have any major chips all week.

Once again, the thumbnail was a struggle. Lining up such a detailed print was no fun & took a few tries for both nails. Since I ran the print sideways for the thumbs I had to do it for all of the nails, but that might not be possible when the rest grow a tiny bit longer (to their normal length).

Houndstooth nails, 2

I love the print - it's so pretty when you see only a few nails, but I did find it to be a little too much running across the whole hand. I think from now on I may just stamp it on the pointer & pinky as accent nails and leave the rest black (which will let me happily avoid the thumbs as well!)

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